The 7 most expensive Plymouth models sold at auction
For a brand that put so much emphasis on value proposition, Plymouth sure did offer a lot of performance in its heyday. Mopar’s entry-level brand saw some of the most iconic muscle cars of the ’60s and early ’70s, and collectors have made them some of the most desirable models.
This year marks the 95th anniversary of the creation of Plymouth, which prompted us to explore the brand’s biggest-ever sales at auction. We knew that the Hemi ‘Cuda convertible could fill that list all by itself. There’s not a single thing wrong with the style, power, and rarity of that car, but in order to build in some variety, we’ve laid out the following according to the highest prices paid by body style and engine option.
With that caveat, here are the seven most expensive Plymouth models sold at auction.
Sale price: $550,000
Plymouth’s answer to Dodge’s 1969 Charger Daytona was a similar aerodynamic homologation car sporting a long, pointed nose that helped pierce through the air at race speeds that exceeded 200 mph. It also featured a tall rear wing and sizable vertical fins that helped with high-speed stability on NASCAR superspeedways. This low-mileage example looks stunning in its Yellow Twist paint, as though it were fresh off the showroom floor. At the time of sale earlier this year, the odometer read just 1029 miles.
1960 Plymouth XNR Roadster
Sale price: $935,000
Named for its designer, Virgil Exner, this shapely speedster was handbuilt by Carrozzerria Ghia in Italy. It is powered by a slant six tuned to produce 250 hp, proving that the durable, economical engine was also a viable powerplant for a sporty runabout. The asymmetrical design’s pointed snout and perforated grille framing quad headlamps is instantly recognizable as an Exner design, although it never materialized as a production car. It’s easy to imagine, however, that this car could have battled Chevy’s Corvette.
Sale price: $1,155,000
A ’71 ‘Cuda, unique with its quad-headlight fascia and chrome-ringed fender gills, is instantly recognizable. Those one-year-only design cues make the styling special, but it was also the final year of the big-block in the ‘Cuda. There weren’t a whole lot of 440 Six-Barrels built in 1971, and even fewer of them were convertibles. According to the Mecum listing, just 17 such ‘Cudas were built in ’71, making this a rare fish indeed. Formerly part of the esteemed Steven Juliano collection, this beautifully-restored Rallye Red example is packed with desirable options, including six-way adjustable driver’s seat, Rallye gauges, and a performance rear axle with 4.10:1 gears.
1954 Plymouth Belmont Concept
Sale price: $1,320,000
The Belmont’s fiberglass body shows it had likely had Corvette and Kaiser Darrin in its sights, and it certainly had the right lines. Another Virgil Exner design, this low, sleek roadster appeared at the 1954 Chicago Auto Show and New York Autorama and showed off a 3.9-liter version of Plymouth’s Polyspheric engine, the short-lived predecessor of the Chrysler A-series V-8 that had distinctive scalloped valve covers. This concept never saw production, so it’s truly a one-of-one.
Sale price: $1,650,000
The top price paid for Plymouth’s winged warrior naturally goes to the Hemi-powered version. Not only was the Hemi Superbird more powerful and rare, when compared to its 440 brethren, but it was also the Hemi-powered wing cars that actually did battle in NASCAR, making it the closest thing to a superspeedway car that you could purchase at your local dealer. This beautiful Tor-Red example is powered by a numbers-matching 426 Hemi and TorqueFlite 727 automatic. Its options include a heavy-duty suspension, the max cooling package, and power steering and disc brakes up front.
Sale price: $2,200,000
Designed by Harry Bentley Bradley and built by Chuck Miller at Styline Customs, the Rapid Transit ‘Cuda toured the country with a bevy of race-prepped and customized coupes to show buyers what was possible with a Plymouth muscle car. This ‘Cuda is arguably the wildest of the customized cars from the Rapid Transit program, which also included a Duster and two generations of Road Runners. Its wild, one-of-a-kind customized sheet metal, perfectly 1970 paint job, as well as the fact that it was out of the limelight for so long, all likely contributed to its strong auction showing. There’s simply no other ‘Cuda quite like it.
Sale price: $3,780,000
Blue on blue with a black top and a Hurst pistol grip shifter, this car is far from subtle, and that’s before the rumbling Hemi comes to life. One of just two four-speed Hemi ‘Cuda convertibles built in 1971, this is practically the Holy Grail as it marked the end of an era for factory 426 Hemi muscle. Cars like this simply don’t change hands that often, and the performance, rarity, and striking looks make them the jewel of any collection. Values for these exceedingly rare E-bodies have been steady lately but still remain sky-high.